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Recovery from autism

Posted May 12 2009 3:49pm

At IMFAR, a new abstract is available about recovering from autism. Its also covered by AP in a slightly oblique way. For example, the AP story states:

...at least 10 percent of children with autism can “recover” from it — most of them after undergoing years of intensive behavioral therapy…

And yet I can’t see ABA mentioned in the abstract. Of course, it may be mentioned in the whole paper but its an odd assumption for AP to make.

The other weird thing is the quote from Geraldine Dawson of Autism Speaks:

Autism researcher Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer of the advocacy group Autism Speaks, called Fein’s research a breakthrough.

How so? Its pretty much a replication of work done in December 2008 by Dr Molly Helt. I mean OK it narrows the recovery band from between 10 to 20% of kids from Helt’s figures of 3 – 25% but that hardly makes it a breakthrough. Just a refinement.

Interesting comments abound all over the web. One of the leaders of a large autism/vaccine group says:

Every parent I know who practices biomed treatment also uses some form of educational intervention, whether it is ABA, Floortime, SonRise, etc…

Now lets compare that statement to Helt’s work:

The recovered children studied by us and others, and described above, however, have generally not received any biomedical intervention.

and in a further clarification in an email to me:

Complete medical histories were taken, including vaccination status, and had it turned out that our optimal outcome sample hadn’t been vaccinated or had by and large received chelation, we certainly would have reported that

So if every parent this autism/vaccine leader knows practices educational intervention and the claim is that these kids recover…but Helt’s team found no evidence that biomedical treatment exists in recovered kids, I think that tells its own story.

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